Fantasy Basketball: Week 24 Waiver Wire
Here's who you need to add for this week as we wrap the Fantasy playoff season for most leagues.
It all happens so fast. There are 17 days left in the NBA regular season. Many head-to-head leagues will appoint their champions this week. Another Fantasy season nears its end.
But it's not over yet. And with every addition to the growing OFS (out for the season) list, the waiver wire adds a new wrinkle. Each of the following names were marked OFS just over the past week: Tim Hardaway Jr, Kelly Oubre, Derrick Rose, Jeff Teague, Wendell Carter, Chandler Hutchison.
And that doesn't include the dozen or so players who had already received the designation, nor does it include players like Nikola Mirotic, who may miss the rest of the regular season but expect to return during the playoffs.
If, by some miraculous fortune, your team has not been impacted by the growing list of the infirmed, then that only increases the chances that your opponents have been impacted. Even if you don't necessarily need a replacement, you might be able to harm your opponent by snatching someone before they can.
Finally, a few generic reminders: Prioritize fit and needs above overall production (if you're not competing in assists, then don't pick up D.J. Augustin). If your league permits streaming, you probably should (this week the best streaming teams are the Jazz, Grizzlies, Blazers, Suns and Thunder). As we near the end of the season, your roster's "undroppable" list should shrink -- with so few games remaining, you should be shifting from overall production to what you need now.
As always, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team.
Adds for all leagues
With Derrick Rose (elbow) and Jeff Teague (foot), Jones finally has full control of the Timberwolves backcourt. Since the two were injured, Jones has entered the starting lineup and is averaging 31.2 minutes per game. He had one really awful outing, but in his other five he put up 12.8 points, 7.0 assists and 1.4 steals. It's highly likely that he puts up the most assists over the remainder of the season of anyone available on waivers right now. Josh Okogie (16 percent rostered), included in the other recommendations list below, also sees some boost with Rose and Teague out, but the boost is probably not as significant, so I'd much rather roster Jones.
D.J. Augustin, Magic (54 percent rostered)
Augustin is Jones' only real competition for that "most assists over the remainder of the season of anyone available on waivers" title, except his higher roster rate means he isn't even an option anymore for some managers. Augustin has steadily held the Magic's starting point guard role all season, but his play has improved as the playoff race has heated up. Over his last five games, he's up to 16.0 points, 7.6 assists and 1.8 threes per night.
I'd recommend picking up Mudiay, Wade and perhaps Gilgeous-Alexander (all listed below) before VanVleet, but I've written a lot about those guys this season and there isn't much new too add.
VanVleet's rise to Fantasy relevance, on the other hand, is pretty new. VanVleet has averaged 33.2 minutes over is past five games, including three starts. This boosted workload is largely because of the combination of actual injuries and load management. Kyle Lowry is notorious for his history of late-season injuries. To keep him healthy, the Raptors are shortening his minutes when he plays and being extra cautious with his injuries.
Lowry is healthy right now, but I'd make a hefty wager that he doesn't match his season average of 34.2 minutes across all three games this week. VanVleet's production profile isn't the most exciting, but he's a decent scorer and a good passer with a good change to see a lot of minutes.
Other recommendations: Emmanuel Mudiay, Knicks (53 percent rostered); Dwyane Wade, Heat (56 percent rostered); Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Clippers (64 percent rostered); Josh Okogie, Timberwolves (16 percent rostered); Thomas Bryant, Wizards (54 percent rostered); Seth Curry, Trail Blazers (10 percent rostered)
Kelly Oubre injury aftermath
Josh Jackson (63 percent rostered)
Richaun Holmes (8 percent rostered)
Mikal Bridges (43 percent rostered)
T.J. Warren (73 percent rostered)
Surprising as it may seem, Kelly Oubre's (thumb) injury may be one of the most important in terms of its Fantasy impact. Oubre started the season as a Wizards' backup, but his role increased steadily after getting traded to the Suns in December. After the All-Star break, he joined the starting lineup and averaged 20.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 steals in 32.9 minutes. During that 12-game span, he was attempting 16.0 field goal attempts, 5.6 three-pointers, and he had risen all the way into Fantasy's top-40. The fallout from his injury will probably be one of the most important Fantasy storylines over the final weeks of the season.
Complicating the picture is T.J. Warren (ankle) who has been out since late January, but who the Suns keep treating on a game-to-game basis. If he returns, he'll likely soak up the overwhelming majority of Oubre's role and production. If Warren returns, then I have no interest In Richaun Holmes or Mikal Bridges, and I'd recommend dropping Jackson in a lot of cases.
However, Warren may not return soon, and there's a decent chance he doesn't return at all. In that case, all three of Jackson, Holmes and Bridges become interesting pickups. Jackson, who missed Saturday's game and is out Monday with an ankle injury of his own, is likely to see the biggest increases in minutes and shots. While he's not a particularly efficient player (to put things politely), he could provide a lot of production across the raw totals categories, especially points and rebounds.
The workload boosts for Holmes and Bridges are likely to be smaller, but they should be enough to propel both onto the Fantasy radar. Holmes is the more interesting of the pair, because he can be incredibly efficient in limited minutes. Over his last four games, in just 18.0 minutes he is averaging 6.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.8 blocks. That's must-add territory for a lot of deep leagues, and worth consideration in standard leagues.
The Bulls have three players out for the season (Denzel Valentine, Chandler Hutchison, Wendell Carter), Otto Porter (shoulder) and Zach Lavine (thigh) have missed multiple games and are out again Tuesday, and Kris Dunn (back) just got downgraded to doubtful. We're in serious "someone's gotta do something" territory. As a reminder, even the worst teams average about 100 points, 40 rebounds and 20 assists per game.
Perhaps the best move a deep-league manager can take right now is to take a shot at one of these Bulls. None of them have done much to inspire confidence, but the available stats and minutes give all of them a ton of upside. Arcidiacono and Selden have each had some impressive streaks already this season, albeit short-lived ones. Harrison has been the most impressive lately, starting the last three games and averaging 10.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals.
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